The body of a 16-year-old Naturita youth was discovered Monday morning in the wreckage of a vehicle that is assumed to have crashed the night before.

Tad Sickles, identified Tuesday by the Montrose County coroner, Dr. Thomas Canfield, was the lone occupant of the 1993 Toyota 4-Runner that troopers found off the side of Colorado 145 early Tuesday.

Sickles was last seen Sunday, June 23 and did not return home that night, according to the Colorado State Patrol, which was paged out shortly after 6 a.m. Monday to the crash site.

The preliminary investigation indicated the teen was northbound on the highway, near mile marker 115, when he traveled into a left curve, went off the right side of the roadway and plunged down an embankment. The vehicle rolled, throwing Sickles, who was not wearing a seat belt.

Speed is being considered as a factor, a CSP spokesman said.

Cause and manner of death are pending the investigation and autopsy results.


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